Income for Canadian Performing Arts Groups Doubles Between 2001 and 2004

Classic Arts News   Income for Canadian Performing Arts Groups Doubles Between 2001 and 2004
Despite the all-too-frequent bad news about orchestral budget woes and declining audiences, there's good news from Canada, following a Statistics Canada report released yesterday stating that pre-tax income for performing arts groups in 2004 was almost double that of 2001, while audiences for live performances reached 14.2 million.

According to the report, performing arts industries' before-tax profit was C$49.2 million, almost double the C$21 million income reported three years earlier in 2001. Revenue in the sector reached C$1.2 billion, up 4.2 percent from the previous year.

The results are based on a survey of 1,500 for-profit and non-profit performing arts groups. Theater was the predominant industry, accounting for 28 percent of total revenue, followed by music ensembles (including everything from orchestras to rock groups), which accounted for 25 percent. The remaining 47 percent was split among musical theater, opera, dance, and a miscellaneous category that includes circuses and ice-skating shows.

Grants, subsidies and donations from government and private sector sources made up 27 percent of total revenue, down slightly from 28 percent three years earlier, according to the report.

For for-profit companies, virtually all revenues came from ticket sales, merchandise sales, royalties and rentals. Only a tiny percentage came from government funding and private sector donations. In contrast, earned revenue was much lower for not-for-profit companies, which rely more on government and private sources.

In 2004, the top 20 Canadian performing arts companies (both for-profit and not-for-profit) reported revenues of C$554.1 million, 46 percent of total revenue for the industry. These companies reported a profit margin of 1.6 percent, with ticket sales amounting to C$262.9 million, or 47 percent of their total revenue.

In the U.S., a similar survey was released in 2003. The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), the most comprehensive national survey on arts participation, reported that in 2002, 23.9 million American adults attended a classical concert, up from 23.2 million in 1992, while the number of opera attendees rose from 6.1 million in 1992 to 6.6 million in 2002.

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